Democrats are motivated and driven by three things: money, polls, and narratives. Let’s examine how each applies to their impeachment gambit based on the Ukraine hoax that they have constructed during Adam Schiff’s impeachment star chamber.
Did the Schiff hearings move the needle to increase public support for impeachment, as virtually all of the House Democrats and legacy media were certain it would? Well, after watching hearsay and Democrat/Deep State witness admit that they had no direct evidence of “presidential crimes committed” other than presumptions and personal opinions, did they move YOUR own needle? If you were the least bit objective while watching the witnesses being exposed as butt-hurt Deep State bureaucrats during Republican cross-examinations, as well as Rep. Nunes masterful closing statement, your needle likely moved farther against impeachment than it was before the hearings started. I mean, after all that build-up and blather in the legacy media beforehand, that was all that the Democrats could produce in the way of “evidence” warranting of impeachment? The Democrats shifting rationale was evident to anyone paying attention as they switched in real-time during the hearings – based on their own internal polls! – from the “quid pro quo” narrative to “bribery and extortion.” And from national polls conducted after the Schiff hearings concluded, a lot of Americans – including those precious “independents” whom the political class claim are the election-deciders – came to the same conclusion. Here is one report from TheHill(dot)com which represents DC Beltway-centric political opinion (anti-Trump, of course):
New public opinion polls are moving against Democrats on impeachment as independents sour on the House inquiry and increasingly express opposition to the hearings that have consumed Washington in recent weeks.
The new data comes as a surprise to Democrats, many of whom believe witnesses have offered damning testimony about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
That last sentence is pretty rich, isn’t it? The Democrats think they can simply throw a lot of personal opinions and unsubstantiated allegations from Deep State witnesses on the wall and make them stick in the minds of Americans, who are generally fair-minded and could easily recognize the unfairness of the Schiff hearings for themselves and discern that there was no direct evidence of ANYTHING criminal presented over the entire two weeks – as the witnesses themselves admitted!
So the polls aren’t cooperating for the Democrats. Oh, and keep in mind that media polls are in reality push-polls that invariably over-sample Democrats and including carefully-constructed leading questions that further the Democrat narrative surrounding the particular poll.
What about money? Money in politics is either an investment for future favors or protection against future negative actions typically aimed at one’s livelihood. The amount – or dearth – of investments going to politicians and parties is an excellent measuring stick about their general appeal to both their supporters and donors, and in fact is a much better measurement about public opinion than media polls. People who are confident and positive about future outcomes open their pocket books a bit wider during election season. The latest report on campaign contributions from the Federal Election Commission is an excellent barometer, as reported here.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had about $8.6 million cash on hand and operated with a debt of $7 million in October, according to a report from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Nov. 20.
The DNC saw a small increase in on-hand cash for the month of October, but the total “debts and obligations owed by the committee” for October was about $7,048,710.14, the FEC report noted. There were $0.00 in “debts and obligations owed to the committee,” it said.
According to reports, the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised about three times as much money as the DNC in October while President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has posted records.
[T]he RNC told the Washington Examiner that the $25.3 million raised in October is nearly triple what was raised in October 2017, and it is the most money on hand since 2012. With the Trump reelection campaign included, about nearly $400 million has been raised.
The RNC, meanwhile, has about $61 million on hand during the latest round of October donations. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel credited support for Trump and a GOP impeachment backlash.
Does that seem like exuberance and confidence on the part of Democrats to you? The Democrats have been fund-raising on impeaching the President for almost three years now, and one would think that there would have been a surge in donations if rank-and-file Democrats were growing more confident about impeachment as the Schiff hearings unfolded! But alas and alack for Democrats, despite the continuing insistence by the likes of CNN and MSNBC that the “two weeks of brutal hearings in the House impeachment inquiry … presented an ugly picture to the public of Donald Trump’s apparent guilt,” both the polls drifting away from impeachment and the tight-fisted Democrat donors would in fact indicate exactly the opposite!
Which brings us to narrative engineering, which the Democrats have perfected in coordination with their many allies in the legacy media over the past 40 or so years. The Democrats create daily narratives depending on the issues of the moment, and then propagate their messages virtually word-for-word throughout the media. If you have listened to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, as well as other conservative media, you already know about “media montages,” i.e., the collection of different legacy media talking heads on a given day repeating the identical messages. Remember their narrative that Bush 43 needed the “gravitas” provided by Dick Cheney in his first presidential run in 2000 (which highlighted his foreign policy inexperience)? How many times did you hear that word repeated by the parrots in the media during that campaign? And of course, we’re all familiar with their claims that “Trump is a Russian agent” narrative that was repeated until the Mueller report blew up that nonsense.
With declining polls and tepid donations, cracks are beginning to appear in the Democrats’ impeachment wall. Are they shifting on an outright impeachment vote? Are they in search of the “winning narrative” that extracts them from the political quagmire that they willfully created? Rep. Brenda James (D-MI) made news last week by publicly advocating for censure instead of impeachment before flip-flopping (after almost certainly having been squeezed by Democrat Party leadership) back to support impeachment. And then there is New Jersey Democrats Jeff Van Drew, who voted against the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives. There has been other speculation that there may not even be a vote to impeach in the House. Maybe that reflects the Democrats’ own lack of confidence in Jerry Nadler, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, who botched the Mueller report hearings and failed to deliver the goods to the impeachment-mongers.
On Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday Morning Futures program, I heard another narrative floated by former US Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN). Bayh was involved in the Bill Clinton impeachment trial in the Senate in early 1999. Given the Democrats’ penchant for tight coordination of their political messaging, I highly doubt that Bayh was merely expressing his own opinion without having it vetted and cleared by the DNC and the House Democrat leadership. Here is what he had to say:
Mike Emanuel (substituting for Maria Bartiromo): In your view, did the Democrats in the House make the case for impeachment during their impeachment inquiry hearings?
Bayh: The wording in the Constitution about impeachment is sort of ambiguous, so it depends on what standard you require. If you apply the standard that was applied to Bill Clinton – lying about a private sexual affair under oath – then I think this conduct is more serious than that. But if you apply the standard that was applied to Richard Nixon, where he authorized break-ins, hush-money payments, he tried to get the CIA to obstruct an investigation by the FBI, I think Nixon’s conduct was more serious, so it’s kind of all in the eye of the beholder. Ultimately, it’s a political test, and unlike either Clinton or Nixon who had been reelected to a second term, we have an election coming up. So I suspect the ultimate answer to your question will be provided by the American people.
[Before we get to the new impeachment narrative he floats, I can’t just let his spinning in that paragraph above stand. The Constitution isn’t vague at all about impeachment, as anyone knows who has studied what the Founders meant when they inserted that clause in the first place. In particular, “bribery” – one of the poll-tested words that the Democrats have now begun using – was described by James Madison in his letters as the situation in which a US president was bribed and made beholden to a foreign power against the interests of the United States. Now THAT is an impeachable offense as intended by the Founders! And that, of course, is NOT what the Democrats are claiming when they cite “bribery” as an impeachable offense. Furthermore, Clinton committed perjury, suborned perjury and obstructed justice – among the 11 criminal charges in his 1998 impeachment by the House. There’s that long-term Democrat narrative in play again, i.e., that Clinton was only impeached for “lying about a private sexual affair.” Besides those 11 charges, the Democrats conveniently forget that the most powerful man in the world used his position to gain sexual favors from a then 21-year-old White House intern. Too bad the “Me, Too” movement didn’t exist in 1998 although they would likely have remained silent just like the militant feminists were about Clinton’s conduct. On to Bayh’s suggested new impeachment narrative.]
Emanuel: Do you expect some moderate Democrats coming back from the Thanksgiving break to tell the Democrat leadership that their voters don’t want impeachment?
Bayh: Probably some. I think the right-wing of the Republican Party is gonna vote against impeachment no matter what. The left-wing of the Democrat Party is gonna vote for impeachment no matter what. It’s those folks in the middle who say, “Get the facts out, let’s see what happens, but what we really want the government to do is focus on things that matter in their daily lives like keeping the economy growing, the cost of healthcare and educating their children, those sorts of things. So my guess is there are fair number of moderates out there that if you put some sort of truth serum in them, what they’d say is, “Look, let’s try and reach a deal here. If the President will agree to make all the witnesses available – the Secretary of State, the Chief of Staff, etc. – just tell us what happened. Get the facts out, and the House would then agree to issue a report finding what the truth was, but then not impeach the President and let the voters decide.” My guess is that’s what a lot of moderates in their hearts would really like to see.
And there you have a new Democrat narrative as they try to find one that threads the political needle on impeachment. Strike a deal with the President such that he lets House Democrats grill any/all witnesses they wish to question, and the Democrats will defer the impeachment vote to the will of the people in November 2020. Bayh was apparently so serious about it that he even repeated it a couple of times before the interview with over. Yeah, right. That ain’t happening, as the President isn’t going to fall for that deal, especially when he’s holding all the aces at this point. But it does provide a window into the Democrats’ impeachment quandary, and they’re looking for a way to get off their own petard on which they hoisted themselves!
The polls and money are forcing the Democrats off their impeachment narrative, at least around the edges. I don’t expect this “Bayh narrative” to gain any real traction among Democrats, but who knows what they will try to do in that regard before that DoJ OIG report is released on 9 December? Will they march off the impeachment cliff, or will they glom onto a new narrative that side-steps impeachment? Stay tuned!